A woman dressed as a mermaid swims at Manila's Ocean Park in the Philippines. (Pat Roque/AP)The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an official statement denying the existence of mermaids.
"No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found," the statement reads. "Why, then, do they occupy the collective unconscious of nearly all seafaring peoples? That's a question best left to historians, philosophers, and anthropologists."
Discovery News writes that the denial reportedly came after the airing of a recent Animal Planet TV show "Mermaids: The Body Found." The special, which aired as part of the network's annual "Monster Week," apparently fooled a number of viewers with its use of computer imagery to depict the mythical creatures. The faux-documentary seems to have created a big enough splash with its audience that NOAA felt it needed to address questions about the alleged authenticity of mermaids.
A press release for the special says it "paints a wildly convincing picture of the existence of mermaids, what they may look like, and why they've stayed hidden...until now."
The denial comes just a month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its own statement in June denying the existence of zombies.